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Your Questions Answered
How To Protect Your Business - Your Questions Answered
In recent weeks there have been a worrying number of breaking news stories reporting devastating fires in large commercial premises, from department stores and museums, to schools and warehouses. Has this left you worrying about the level of fire protection at your own business?
When was the last time you completed a risk assessment of the premises? Did you do it in your head or on paper? What exactly are your required to do?
At Keybury, we keep up to date with the latest requirements in the industry and we ensure compliance with the standards. We are BAFE approved for Fire Alarm design, installation and maintenance. It’s our business to bring you peace of mind and so we’re here to answer your questions on Commercial Fire Protection.
Who is responsible for Fire Safety in my business?
The business owner or employer is the responsible person.
Anyone with control of the premises, such as the building manager, managing agent, landlord or an occupier are all responsible for fire safety in a non-domestic premises. This also applies for buildings with paying guests, such as guest houses or self catering holiday lets.
There can be more than one person responsible, for example an employer and a building manager, or a landlord and an occupier, or in shared premises. In this situation, all those responsible should work together and coordinate fire safety plans to ensure they meet their responsibility for fire safety.
How do I protect my business from fire?
Fire safety doesn’t happen by accident. As the responsible person, you must plan for an emergency and ensure that fire safety measures are put in place and maintained appropriately. Most importantly, select a company with appropriate approvals. Using a BAFE approved contractor reassures you that you have a competent contractor for your system.
How do I know what Fire safety measures my business needs?
You must carry out a Fire Risk Assessment of the premises and review it regularly. For businesses with 5 or more employees, you must keep a written record. Extensions and alterations should comply with building regulations, including designing fire safety into the proposed extension. You must provide staff with information including the risks identified in the Fire Risk Assessment, Fire Safety instruction and appropriate training.
Most businesses need a fire alarm, fire extinguishers and emergency lights. You may also need a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP). A PEEP must be carried out for any staff in the workplace who’s ability to evacuate should be given extra consideration. This may include staff in the second or third trimester of pregnancy or staff members with inhibited mobility.
Which Fire Extinguisher?
There are many different types of fire extinguishers. This makes selecting the right ones a minefield for business owners. Different fires require different extinguishers, therefore you need to consider the business type and which materials you have on the premises. The type and location of fire extinguishers can be identified as part of your fire risk assessment.
Have you seen the light?
Emergency lights guide you to safety in the event of an emergency. This should be regularly maintained to ensure they are working as required, particularly as it is battery powered. Every commercial premises is different, therefore it is crucial that your emergency lighting system is correctly designed. The responsible person must ensure that all potential risks are evaluated. The responsible person must also engage a competent person to install and maintain a compliant emergency lighting system.
Fire alarms should be designed with appropriate protection throughout the building to ensure the property and the people within are protected against fire. You should choose the category of the system. This is your responsibilty, not that of the installer. You are responsible if your fire alarm is not compliant. Your Fire alarm system should be maintained with checks every 6 months, besides that you’ll need to test the system weekly and record this in the log book.
Follow our simple flow chart to discover whether your business needs a fire alarm.
Peace of Mind from Keybury. We are BAFE approved for designing, installing and maintaining Fire Alarms. Additionally, we offer Fire Risk Assessments and we install and maintain Fire Extinguishers and Emergency Lights.